The Creoles in Saint-Domingue

Note: This work is the result from a research assignment given to University of Maryland undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in Dr. Sarah Benharrech’s course “Riots, Rebellions and Revolutions,” taught in Fall 2015. Learn more.

French:
(Les Créoles à Saint-Domingue)
Un des groupes ethniques qui habitaient dans la colonie française de Saint-Domingue étaient « les Créoles». Les créoles étaient des personnes nées à Saint-Domingue, mais blanches et d’héritage européen, souvent français.[1] Certains créoles avaient toutefois des ancêtres qui n’étaient pas blancs.[2] Les premiers colons étaient des hommes, mais la plupart des femmes blanches n’étaient pas des colons qui venaient directement d’Europe, mais des enfants des premiers colons, ou en d’autres termes, des créoles.[3] Selon Moreau de Saint-Méry et Louis Duval, les créoles avaient un talent pour la musique et ils aimaient s’amuser.[4] Ils étaient très « polis et distingués » avec des « goûts raffinés».[5] Fuyant la Révolution haïtienne, un certain nombre de créoles se sont installés en Louisiane, et ailleurs aux Etats-Unis.[6]
English:
One of the ethnic groups that lived in the French colony of Saint Domingue was the group called the “Creoles.” The creoles were all of the people who were born in Saint Domingue, and typically they were white and of European heritage, often French.[1]  But there were also members among the group of creoles who had ancestors who were not white.[2]  The first colonists who arrived to the island were men. Because of this, most women on the island were not colonists who came directly from Europe, but the children of the first colonists, or in other words, creoles.[3]  According to Moreau Saint-Méry and Louis Duval, the creoles had a talent for music, and they liked to enjoy themselves.[4] They were very “polite and distinguished” with “refined tastes.”[5] After the Haitian Revolution, a lot of people among the creoles fled to Louisiana and many other locations in the United States.[6]

Author: Allison Chikes

References

[1] M. L. E. Moreau de Saint-Méry, Description topographique, physique, civile, politique et historique de la partie francaise de l’isle Saint-Domingue…. (Philadelphia, 1797), 12.
[2] Thomas Fiehrer, “Saint-Domingue/Haiti: Louisiana’s Caribbean Connection,” Louisiana History: The Journal of the Louisiana Historical Association 30, no. 4 (1989): 424, http://www.jstor.org/stable/4232758.
[3] Jacques Houdaille, “Quelques données sur la population de Saint-Domingue au XVIIIe siècle,” Population (French Edition) 28, no. 4/5 (1973): 862, doi:10.2307/1531260.
[4] Louis Duval, Colons bas-normands et créoles de Saint-Domingue (familles des Pallières et Guérin) (Alençon: Renaut-de Broise, 1895), http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k67006z/f20.item.r=musique, 17.
[5] Pierre de Vaissière, Saint-Domingue: La Société et la vie créoles sous l’ancien régime, 1629-1789. (Paris: Perrin, 1909), http://issuu.com/scduag/docs/pap11104?e=1147227/2975125, 276.
[6] Fiehrer, “Saint-Domingue/Haiti,” 429.